Chennai, Mar 25 : Indian skipper Anil Kumble today said that India has the advantage of playing on the home turf, and added that South Africa would feel the absence of Shaun Pollock during the series.
Addressing a news conference on the eve of the first test match beginning on Wednesday (March 26), Kumble said: "Obviously, they will miss Shaun Pollock's experience and his skills."
"But I think as a unit they have done well in the last few series in the sub continent so we have to give them the credit. South Africa has always been a competitive side and has done well in India," he said.
Kumble added that Steyn, Morkel and Makhaya Ntini are a good bowling unit and Indian team would concentrate on their strength and play to their potential to derive maximum advantage of playing at the home.
He expressed hope that Indian players would sustain the intensity gained during Australia to win the test series against Proteas.
Earlier, both Anil Kumble and his South African counterpart Graeme Smith unveiled the Future Cup at a glittering ceremony.
The Indian team also had a practice session where Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar and other senior pros of the team including southpaw Sourav Ganguly and captain Kumble were seen honing their skills at the nets. South Africa, fourth in the icc test championship, can displace India as number two if they win the three-test series.
Indian captain and leg spinner Anil Kumble will team up with off spinner Harbhajan Singh on the traditionally slow pitches, backed by a young pace attack and an experienced batting line up which clicked in Australia.
The tourists, on a high after reeling off six test series wins in a row since their defeat in Sri Lanka in August 2006, are confident they have the firepower to rattle India, despite the row centred on their new ball attack.
The final two test matches would be played at Ahmedabad and Kanpur.
The Indian squad for the series against South Africa includes Anil Kumble,Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Harbhajan Singh, WasimJaffer, Murali Kartik, V V S Laxman, Irfan Pathan, Piyush Chawla, Vireder Sehwag, Rudra Pratap Singh, Sreesanth, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh.
South African squad includes Graeme Smith, Ashwell Prince, Hashim Amla, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, Jean-Paul Duminy, Paul Harris, Jacques Kallis,Neil McKenzie, Morne Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Monde Zondeki, Charl Langeveldt.